Musical Origin of the Universe

The universe we live in and with it, the numerous celestial spheres, which it comprises, are always in motion. The vibrations caused by their revolution constitute what is familiarly known as the “music of the spheres”, which was revealed to the seers of yore in the innermost recesses of their hearts when they sat in meditation, with their minds abstracted from all distractions (with the … [Read more...]

New Historicism

New Historicism is a general term for a loosely organised approach to literary study that looks at the historical context of a work from a perspective influenced by poststructuralism. It rejects the traditional distinction between the text and the context – that is, between the play or poem and the historical conditions existing at the time it was written, in a way that reminds us of the method of … [Read more...]

She Stoops to Conquer – A Deliberate Reaction against Sentimental Comedy

Before Goldsmith and Sheridan appeared on the scene there had been a decay of true comedy and sentimentalisation was growing up. Pity was creeping into the world of intellectual laughter. The Comedy of Manners had passed through a heyday of extraordinary brilliance and licentiousness, with the Restoration dramatists. But after the Stuarts, the standard of public decency rose higher, and Jeremy … [Read more...]

The School for Scandal as a Comedy of Manners

The name ‘Comedy of Manners’ is applied to the comedies of the late 17th century of the restoration dramatists, and revived in the 18th century by Sheridan and Goldsmith, where the emphasis is laid upon the social follies of the characters rather than on humours of plot and situation. The comedy of manners is almost wholly intellectual. It is also wholly aristocratic; the manners displayed being … [Read more...]

The Modernity of Chaucer

  The kaleidoscope presents an orderly arrangement of elements, most snapshots do not. An increase in naturalism means a decrease in order. Most artistc value rests, among other things, on the exact reconciliation of these demands. Primitive art, on the whole, is an art of rigid symmetries, sacrificing plausibility to a wonderful sense of patterns, while the art of impressionists went so far … [Read more...]

Musee des Beaux Arts

MUSÉE DES BEAUX ARTS  (THE MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS)                                                             W.H. Auden “Musée Des Beaux Arts” has been a popular poem ever since it was published in 1939. To understand it properly, it is necessary, first, to understand the various references within the poem. The title of the poem refers to a Brussels art gallery, whilst the “old masters” are the … [Read more...]

The Meghaduta

The Meghaduta has traditionally been divided into two parts, Purvamegha and Uttaramegha; these are apparently meant to distinguish the stanza’s covering the cloud’s imagined journey from those covering its arrival at the Yaksha’s home, Alaka. But this particular division (between stanzas 63 and 64) is open to some doubt has not always been observed, even in some early commentaries. There are, in … [Read more...]

Shakespeare

Shakespeare was a born story-teller, and his career as an artist began with storytelling for its own sake. His first attempt at tragedy – Titus Andronicus – remains a melodrama, a horror story, and so successful is it that at a recent production of the play at Stratford-on-Avon, it was necessary to have a nurse in attendance to minister to the women who fainted as the play’s horrors were revealed. … [Read more...]

Chaucer – The General Prologue

The General Prologue to the Canterbury Tales opens with an essentially sexual image to explain seasonal change: Whan that Aprill with his shoures soote The droghte of March hath percedt o the roote And bathed every veyne in swich licour Of which vertu engendered is the flour From the piercing liquid of April’s showers comes new life, the flower. Successive images of the wind … [Read more...]

Preview of the Mattavilāsaprahasanam in the Bhagavadajjukam

Mahēndravarman’s Bhagavadajjukam is not only an extempore composition to instruct the Vidūṣaka in the essential requisites of the prahasana (farcical comedy), but also a prelude/preface to the Mattavilāsaprahasanam, though the title of the play is not spelt out by the Sūtradhāra. The Sūtradhāra simply says that he is going to put on a prahasana within a week at the royal palace and that he will … [Read more...]